Aaron Sorkin, big man with little glasses, continued his quest to retroactively ruin your enjoyment of The West Wing at a Writers Guild panel Monday, where he said that this week's controversial Newsroom—the one with the almost universally hated campus rape subplot—was the first "really good" episode of the show.
"This episode was different, in every regard," Sorkin said, "It was the first episode of The Newsroom I thought was really good. It was the first time I didn't find myself banging my head against a wall feeling like, 'I just cannot get the hang of this.'"
He said his elation about the episode "lasted six hours" before a hailstorm of bad reviews hit the internet, accusing Sorkin of victim-blaming and a lack of empathy. He says those reviewers made the mistake of equating his characters' beliefs with his own, leading them to "terrible inferences" about him.
"They're seeing it through a fractured lens of me," he said.
Oh, were we not supposed to view Sorkin's characters, who all speak in the same very distinct Sorkinesque voice, as Sorkin stand-ins? Shit, I guess the critics missed that memo re: Josh Lyman, Sam Seaborn, Matt Albie, et al. Or maybe it's different because people generally liked those characters, while the Newsroom's alleged non-Sorkins are much more divisive.
In that same talk, Sorkin called hate-watching "a disorder." Maybe so, but it's a disorder that's driven a lot of the coverage and at least some of the viewership of The Newsroom.